Pentagon Defends Surveillance Program
By Michael J. Sniffen
Date: May 20, 2003
The Pentagon assured Congress that its planned anti-terror surveillance system will only analyze legally acquired information and changed the name of the project to help allay privacy concerns that prompted congressional restrictions.
The Total Information Awareness program now under development by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, will henceforth be named the Terrorism Information Awareness program.
In report ordered by Congress 90 days ago, DARPA said the old name "created in some minds the impression that TIA was a system to be used for developing dossiers on U.S. citizens. That is not DoD's (Department of Defense's) intent in pursuing this program."
Rather the goal is "to protect U.S. citizens by detecting and defeating foreign terrorist threats before an attack" and the new name was chosen "to make this objective absolutely clear."
While the name changed, the description of the program being developed remained essentially the same. DARPA did, however, emphasize that it has let contracts to enhance privacy and security protections for personal data analyzed by U.S. agents who might ultimately use the software tools that are being tested or are under development. Full Story
^macro[showdigestcomments;^uri;Pentagon Defends Surveillance Program ]